My short story, Knight of the Wylde West was published by Port Yonder Press this week in a magazine called, Bonte Review. Now this is a pre-issue (I guess to test the waters for publication, distribution, etc.) so it isn’t available for purchase. Only contributors received copies. However, it wasn’t a vanity publication. It went through a real editor, who paid real money (thanks!) and asked for real changes to be made to the manuscript to make it a better story, and was published in a real paper magazine.
The story is a mash-up of genres–Western and Fantasy. It is about an exiled Elven Gunslinger who must decide whether to save the daughter of the man who exiled him from the Elven nation. It is a really neat story and I’m glad it got to see publication. The editors even had artwork done for the story (I should mention that my story is the only one that had two pieces of artwork–the other stories only had one). While the artwork doesn’t really match the images that I had in my head per se, they are still a good representation of what’s happening in the story.
Which leads me off to another tangent. Along with just straight fiction, I’d always hoped to work on comic books and graphic novels, but outside of my first comic publication, I’ve not really done much in that arena. Part of the problem is me: I’d seen a featurette on the LoTR: Fellowship of the Ring (Extended Edition) that talked about how the whole bridge of Khazad Dum sequence was built around the pre-artwork done for the Balrog sequence. Without that artwork, there would have been no Khazad Dum sequence in the movie. I really like that mode of working, being able to play off the artists work and being able to say yes this matches what we’re going for , but this doesn’t match, let’s change it to this . . . but what I need to do is just let the artist work. I need to focus on creating the characters, story and plot and just let the artist draw–I’m not a director, I’m a writer and that’s my strength. The other part of the problem is the industry. It, like movies, has begun to be a closed system. You wonder why there are no super-breakout comics like Eastman and Laird’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Its because it is much, much harder to shepherd a script (or artwork) into publication. Unlike magazines and anthologies, trying to work through a non-superhero based comic is harder than ever. Graphic novels are a little easier, but still, you won’t find a Duotrope-like site for publishers of Graphic novels, like would for fiction or novels. All that seems be done on the internet now in the form of webcomics. I think that I might try to advertise on my local college campus for artists and try again, but before I do, I need to do 2 things: 1) create and write the COMPLETE script, so I won’t be tempted to interfere with my artist and 2) identify a graphic novel publisher and target the work to them. Even if they don’t want it, I’ll at least have a place to send it rather than just sitting on it. But that’s probably a post for another time.
PS–Project Skye Update: currently about 50%-75% through Chap. 2 “Storm Warning.”